Untitled. An Offering upon Arrival.
MS Harleian 7316, 69v*.
We did attempt to travell all Last night,
The Moon was perish [sic] but the Stars gave Light
And Steer'd us to your Cottage fair & Bright.
We have brought you foreign Wine, Your friends to Grace
Wine that will Bask & Sparkle in their face
As also purest Nance,* the Flower of France
Will make a Parson & a Butcher Dance
We have likewise brought a Flash of Rumm
I dare to Say the best in Christendom
But best of all because it's Safe come home.
I have Viewed your Cotage, could I call it my own
I'd Scorn a Spanish, nay a Brittish Throne,
And Sway my Scepter, & here reign alone.
I am strongly persuaded this poem is by Anne Finch. It is the ninth in the series of 14 poems in MS Harleian 7316. It is strikingly like Finch, that is, internally persuasive, the tone, the prosody, phrases are Finch's; it recalls her earliest autobiographical as well as later verse: the idea that the host's cottage though humble is the best of places to come to because safest" recalls the close of The Shepherd and the Calm and other fables. The rejection of ambition and determination "to reign here alone" are her familiar motifs. There is also a reference to "Nance" who the writer looks forward to seeing; I suggest this is Ann Fleming, and the visit is to Colehill, Warwickshire.
If Finch's, the poem was probably written between 1718 and 1719. See "This dismal Morn when East Winds blow"
Page Last Updated 8 January 2003